The Elements of A Style

Last night, I was going through my bookshelf looking for

The Elements Of Style by Strunk and White.

I bought this book for a College English class years ago.

It was obligatory.

It is a small book about the elementary rules of usage.

Originally written in the early twentieth century,

 by an English professor at Cornell,

William Strunk Jr.

The version I have is revised and augmented by E.B White,

 the author of Charlotte’s Web and a New Yorker contributor for many years.

It is a Tiny little paperback and invaluable.

Every Time I open it,

 even randomly,

 I learn something.

I’m not sure the Professor would approve of strangely punctuated blogs,

but, hey.

“Autre Temps, Autre Moeurs”

Looking through,

or perhaps just at, the little book,

 sent me into a reverie about style.

Everybody has style or a style.

With some people it is not readily apparent.

For instance I never wear black shoes.

 Who would notice this, unless I mention it or,

 they accompany me on a shoe shopping trip.

I cannot remember a time,

 when there has not been,

 at least,

 one blue oxford cloth shirt in my closet.

Over the years,

there have been Ralph Lauren’s, Lacoste and even The Gap.

For the last five years,

 perhaps more,

 they have been L.L Bean.

In fact most of my shirts are.

Decent prices,

sizes that fit and ,

“normal” colours.

Plus, they do Plaid even when it is not in style.

For years I longed for a pair of Blundstone boots,

because nothing says Butch like Blundstone.

The company should use that as a slogan!

I bought a pair last November,

I have worn no other shoes since.

Through the rain, the snow, the heatwaves, everything.

I take better care of them than any other item I have ever owned.


I clean, polish and condition them every week.

I think I can safely say I moisturize them more than my face. 🙂

I always had a thing for watches.

I wear no other jewellery to speak of.

Ten years ago, I discovered aluminum Swatch watches.

They look like stainless steel but they weigh practically nothing.

The reason I got the first one is they don’t turn my arm green.

People who use their cellphone as a timekeeper, freak me out.

The point of this rambling and quasi advertisement, is that,

we all have style.

What we wear, what we read, what we watch and who we love,

 says much about

who we are.

Later girls


On my love of writing implements

I love pens.

Black felt tip or,

very smooth blue ball point medium,

 only medium.


I’m a freak for notebooks.

Small black Moleskins for quotes.

Medium black ruled journals for ideas and diary.

Old composition style, from the drugstore, for family history and lore.

My Grandpapa used to keep family info in an old blueline journal from 1964.

Mostly dates of birth, baptism, weddings and deaths.

When I was a child I used to plead for him to read L’Histoire de Famille, out of the book.

When he died I inherited it.

I have been making a new one for my Godson, Jerome.

I want him to know where he comes from.

Won’t be too many baptisms and weddings in there,

 Québec is pretty much a post Catholic society.

I have these beautiful sky blue Gap notebooks, that I write poems in.

I used to use colourful Claire Fontaine notebooks.

Now, I find them too pretty.

I prefer the more staid Moleskin.

Above all else in writing implements,

 I love the typewriter.

When I was growing up we had an old Underwood in the house.

I never knew why, nobody typed.

I spent hours pounding on the keys,

pretending to be a writer,

 a reporter,

 or a Clarence Darrow like, Legal Eagle.

Whole movies and books being imagined in my head.

I always wanted a Royal,

 because that is what my man Hemingway used.

I have a picture in the bookstore,

 of Ernest typing on his Royal,

 he’s so cool.

My favorite bookmark is Snoopy typing,

“It was a dark and stormy night”

I always wanted to be a writer.

I like my laptop just fine, when I get my new Mac,

 I may even grow to love it.

But, to me,

 nothing says writer like pen, notebook and typewriter.

The astetics of the written word.

Later girls


My love of Kates, a fluff piece.

I love the name Kate and, I love Kates. 

 Going back pretty far, Kates have captured my imagination.

Hepburn, talk about class and feminine strength.

 Think Adam’s Rib,

The African Queen and most of all

The Philadelphia Story, a very old movie which is still funny and witty so many years later.

 The first time I saw it  I was enthralled. I watch it every year and, have for the last twenty.

 Hepburn at her best



sexy in a Bryn Mawr kind of way

 and yet, oh so vulnerable and flawed.


I discovered Kate Hepburn pretty early

(I thank the forces of the universe for being born into a family of movie and book freaks).

When I was about twelve or thirteen ,

I was home from school on a Tuesday or Wednesday

 (cold?snow day? not sure)

and of course I was watching television, soap operas, and I came upon Ryan’s Hope and the luminous,

 Kate Mulgrew.

The voice, the hair, the light freckles,

I believe it was love at first sight.

Years later she became Captain Kathryn Janeway,

the best Star Trek captain. Her crew had by far,

 the strongest and most kick ass female members.

Mulgrew is still very sexy.

Think reading glasses and swept up hair,

 be still my heart.

My current Kate obsession is, Kate Winslet.

A beautiful woman, a fearless artist.

If I met her, I would faint and  loose all my butch creed.

Since I live in the great white north, I believe I am safe.

Two of my favorite fictional detectives are Kates.

Strange, very strange.

Just so you don’t think I’m totally weird I also like Emmas, Julias, Joes and Meryls.

Years ago, I read in Esquire Magazine a description of Emma Thompson as;

The woman we would most like to read Ulysses in bed with.


Says it all.

Mature, beautiful women, who read in or out of bed.

Doesn’t get any better than that,

 and if they happen to be named Kate, all the better.

Later girls

 thanks for reading my fluff



On Being Butch

This morning, I have been thinking about being butch and what it means.

I often experience strange reactions from people, mostly straight women, when I refer to myself as butch. It seems some of them think that I am putting myself down when I describe myself as butch, and try to tell me 

“You’re not so butch”

To which I reply  

 Of course I am.

Being butch, is not a badge of honour nor is it a source of embarrassment, it is what I am.

I have always seen a butch as a  gentlemanly woman.

I use gentleman because I can think of no feminine equivalent.

I like the word butch. I like the word queer. I like the word dyke.

 I believe they empower.

 I use them.

My friends use them.

Butch is not about macho or aggressivity.

 It’s  about style and philosophy.

 It’s about a code of conduct the unwritten,

 Book of Butch

A butch acts in certain ways,

 with class,

 with strength,

 with dignity.

She treats women well,     always.

 She accepts no for an answer, even if it pisses her off.

Butches are romantic, send flowers, remember birthdays.

They rarely dye their hair. They usually wear boots.

They like to appear stoic. Think Gary Cooper.

 Yep, Nope.

They would all like to be handy alas, some of them,

( us) are bookish and  hire other butches or even,

 men to renovate.

They like to think of themselves as the most considerate and accomplished of lovers.

Butches have illusions about themselves like everyone else.

It’s fun, it’s silly, it’s serious.

I like the aesthetics of butch.

All of this is my interpretation and how I see it. Your version might differ and that’s fine.

I just wanted to let you in on some of my thoughts on the subject.



What is a bookish butch?

What is a bookish butch?                                                                                                                                                                    

I don’t know about others, but this one is a softly masculine woman in her forties who can never seem

to get her nose out of a book.

Let me start by telling you a little bit about me and the aim of this blog.

As, previously stated I can never seem to get my nose out of a book

(this has been detrimental to my love life over the years, bookish people should

only be with bookish people or people who travel a lot)

I love the books of John Irving (especially The World According to Garp), the movies of Tarantino

and Frank Capra. I never wear black shoes. I think Kate Winslett is God’s gift to all of us dykes

(and guys as well!)

I read 2 or 3 books a week. This blog will be about lesbian themed books, but, not exclusively.

Sarah Schulman is to me a great underappreciated talent.

Soon, I post my first book review .

’til then